Black baldy herd takes out Eating Quality Awards for Victoria

Some of Victoria’s tastiest beef has been recognised in the 2023 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards, by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

The awards recognise producers from across the country who consistently deliver beef of superior eating quality, based on the parameters of the MSA program.

MSA is based on more than 1.7 million taste tests by over 250,000 consumers from 13 countries and considers the factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to plate.

Gippsland beef producers Neville and Karen Beecher run a mix of Angus, Hereford, and Angus-Hereford cross cattle on their farm at Churchill.

Their MSA results have seen them win Most Outstanding Band 1 (larger non-grainfed) MSA Producer in Victoria in the 2023 MSA Excellence in Eating Quality Awards.

The Beechers, who have been MSA registered producers since 2017, achieved an average MSA compliance of 99.7%, and average MSA Index of 63.51 across 2021–23.

For the Beechers, the path to becoming award-winning MSA beef producers started as a sideline to their agricultural contracting business.

“We produce silage and pasture hay and provide cultivation services for clients. We previously ran about 200 head, mainly for fodder management, but about five years ago there was an opportunity to increase our numbers to over 1,000 head.”

The Beechers are part of the Greenham Never Ever Beef Program, which specifies that cattle are grassfed, MSA certified, that no hormone growth promotants (HGPs) are used, no antibiotics are used, and the cattle are free from Genetically Modified Organisms.

Their proximity to Greenham means Neville and Karen can continuously select the best of their cattle for processing.

The Beechers look at their MSA feedback in myMSA and attribute their ongoing high rates of MSA compliance to their feeding regime.

“We look at the feedback in myMSA. We’re not buying in the most expensive, top lines of cattle, but I think our results come down to how we feed our cattle and maintaining quality feed all year round,” Mr Beecher said.

MSA Program Manager, David Packer, said the awards recognise beef producers in Victoria who have achieved outstanding results in a very large field of tough competition.

“This is the 25th year of the MSA program and in that time, it has become the world-leading eating quality grade program for Australian beef,” Dr Packer said.

“It is a key driving force behind the quality of Australian beef, so these awards are a prestigious achievement for the producers.”

This year’s Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producers for Victoria are as follows:

Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer – Feedlot
Winner Alloa Pastoral Co Pty Ltd, Milawa
Finalist – 1st runner up Teys Australia Charlton Feedlot, Charlton
Finalist – 2nd runner up RM Gillett & Co Pty Ltd, Anakie


Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer – Band 1 (larger businesses)
Winner Nekashabai Pty Ltd Trustee for N & K Beecher Family Trust, Churchill
Finalist – 1st runner up Ulupna Pastoral Company, Cobram
Finalist – 2nd runner up BJ Tieman, Pound Creek


Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer – Band 2 (smaller businesses)
Winner RJ & SM Dalley, Buchan South
Finalist – 1st runner up FT Exner, Cobains
Finalist – 2nd runner up RN & RM Newton, Whorouly